UN counts on India's support to mobilise G20 nations in debt relief, says Guterres

The international financial system is "morally bankrupt" as it favours rich countries, and he expected India's involvement in reforming this situation

Pavin Elsa NelsonUpdated: Thursday, October 20, 2022, 03:05 PM IST
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Mumbai: The UN counts on India's support in mobilising G20 countries around debt relief, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Wednesday.

Some developing nations are facing debt stress and received very little financial support as they attempted to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, he said while speaking at an event organised at the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai

Addressing the gathering at the event titled 'India@75: India-UN Partnership | Strengthening South-South Cooperation', Guterres said India's upcoming G20 presidency would be an opportunity to bring developing nations' values and vision to the forefront of the global economy.

The international financial system is "morally bankrupt" as it favours rich countries, and he expected India's involvement in reforming this situation.

"That is why I also encourage India's engagement in deep reform of the global financial architecture which favours those that conceived it, and it is terribly detrimental to the interests of the developing countries, especially the least developed countries," he said.

It was an interesting coincidence that the G20 presidency would come to India after Indonesia, and will then be followed by that of Brazil and South Africa, Guterres said. So, for the first time four key developing countries will lead the G20 in quick succession. India will take over the presidency for one year from December 1, during which the country is expected to host over 200 meetings.

Many developing countries are at or near high levels of debt distress and require multilateral action, including the expansion and extension of the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative, he said. As much as $16 trillion was mobilised for recovery of the global economy, he said.

The US and Europe "printed money" but most developing countries could not do that because that would cause their currencies to "go down the drain," Guterres said.

So the truth is that the recovery from the pandemic was largely concentrated in the developed countries, from the financial point of view, he said. “Developing countries have received very little support and the result is that because of their impact in their societies, they need to support people, which has led to a dramatic increase in their debt."

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